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A New Year, a New Content Marketing Strategy

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    As 2014 falls upon us, our New Year resolutions have been written out and many of us are (hopefully!) on track to ticking them off. With this clean slate under our belt, 2014 is the perfect opportunity to not only review your personal goals, but also your professional ones.

    With Google’s algorithm updates last year, and no doubt more to come for 2014, business owners are forced to take a closer look at their content marketing strategies. For some, it’s a tangled web of no social media signals and shifty linking performances resulting in penalties and invisible search engine rankings – but it doesn’t’t have to be this complex. We take a look at a few tips to help you build a winning content marketing strategy for effective SEO results.

    The Basics of Good Content Strategy

    Well-constructed and high quality content serves two purposes. It effectively attracts and engages an audience, and it helps to rank your website higher in the eyes of search engines. To create good content both of these points need to be considered – simply writing for one and not the other won’t deliver the full package.

    For the New Year, content marketing will hold the same essentials as 2013 but will mature into a marketing strategy that is bigger and better than ever. Good content:

    • Should be mixed between written, visual or auditory.
    • Regular, fresh and informative content should be targeted at a specific audience.
    • Will keep your website evolving and alive.
    • Increases the authority connected to your work.
    • Creates high social signals from regular audience engagement and sharing.

    1. Know Who You Are Writing For

    Knowing your target audience and keeping them in mind from start to finish is crucial for creating good content. Take advantage of social media channels or forums to help engage with existing and potential clients as effectively as possible.

    Normally, ideas for new content are drawn from publications and popular, interesting industry blogs. Whilst this inspiration is always good, it’s important you remember to take a step back and evaluate whether you’re still writing for the intended audience as it can be easy to get lost or heavily influenced by outside sources.

    2. Use a Checklist

    Consider your idea and ask yourself is it any good? You want something that is easy to understand, fresh and interesting, and provides readers with enough detail.

    A good idea is simple, credible, interesting, different and shareable. Good content that is written around these elements will get shared and therefore, boost your own credibility and website rankings.

    3. Solve Common Problems and Make Lives Easier

    Customers are constantly thinking what’s in it for them so feeding through content that thrives on this concept will go far. Learning to think beyond just your company’s products and services and creating a content strategy that thinks ahead of this will open up a world of opportunities.

    Consider the questions your customers and audience may have. How can you solve their problems, make their lives easier and fill communication gaps? Once you have nutted out these basics, delve deeper to effectively address their issues and this will help shape your overall content strategy.

    If you’re ever unsure on topic ideas, just ask your audience. Taking quick surveys, utilising social media and getting your customers talking will help gather insights and act as a strong platform to allow you more creativity with your content.

    4. Keep Your Audience Engaged

    It’s all very well attracting your audience initially but keeping them engaged is even more crucial (and challenging!) Most topics have been done and the ‘top 10 lists’ are popular, so try take a different spin on an existing subject.

    Look out for topics or issues that most people are too afraid to address. The strategic way to craft content that engages an audience and keeps them wanting more is to find your own story and write something that is captivating.

    5. Create a Timeline

    Once you have a strong idea on the goals you want to achieve through content marketing, create a timeline to help you achieve them. This will also help you monitor your strategy, evaluate and make changes where necessary.

    Establishing a timeline will also help you to keep track of topics and ensure you are not repeating any and keep you focused. Naturally, it takes time for effective content strategies to take hold so make sure you have at least one or two pieces in the meantime that are driving website traffic and social activity.

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